I have always been interested in visual art, and from an early age right through my school and college education I have been an enthusiastic practitioner. Recently, experiences through my employment have rekindled my interests and fuelled my ambition to study Graphic Design.I am currently employed by an international giftware company as a Marketing Officer, initially as an apprentice (2015) leading to full time employment. Studying alongside work has given me an understanding of brand, content and creating effective marketing materials. My responsibilities include the design and production of catalogues, flyers and posters on a commercial scale, targeting a variety of different markets. This has helped me understand the process of creating commercially effective design and print in a professional context, working with others and considering factors such as the correct use of colour, paper stock and file formats. Branding is an important part of my role and the materials I create. I must consider type, copy, colour scheme and image style to display our products. I have also designed HTML emails, created and managed social media posts and coordinated product photography for over 200 products, ensuring each marketing channel is harmonious and on brand. This experience has helped me understand the strength and value of branding and visual communication. I recently created a logo for the International Committee at the University of Lund, Sweden and followed the creative process of a designer from start to finish. Working with the client, I created sketches, responded to feedback and then developed the preferred ideas using my knowledge of Adobe Illustrator to refine a logo that reflected the culture of the committee. The process allowed me to push myself, enhancing my software skills and my ability to review and respond to client needs. I am pleased to report that my client was very happy with the results. I found the process to be a fulfilling experience and another catalyst spurring me on to study Graphic Design at a higher level. At home, I am independently extending my skills with industry standard software such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop through self directed study as I believe it is important to expand my knowledge beyond my immediate need. Logo design, typography, and art direction are particular interests of mine. Although my opportunities to develop typography have so far been a little limited, I understand and appreciate its importance to the design process and I look forward to exploring this further through the course, along with other key elements in the design process. I admire designers such as Stefan Sagmeister, his knowledge of composition and his understanding of his own limitations have been a great inspiration and source of interest for me. Colour palettes from illustrator Mark Conlan convey a mood in his work which I feel can be translated across all sorts of media. In 2016, I bought a run-down Victorian terrace in need of much renovation. Making it into a home on a shoestring budget has thrown up its challenges but has ultimately been one of my most rewarding achievements. When I’m not doing DIY, I love sketching, camping, and going for walks with my dog. Like many people, I have become increasingly aware of environmental issues, it is a personal goal to reduce my impact on the planet and I actively encourage others to do the same. In addition to reducing our consumption at home, I participate in activities such as beach cleaning.I have made the decision to study graphic design now as I have reached a stage in my life where I am fully focused on my career path and more able to approach my goals with creative freedom. I want to learn in a stimulating environment with a framework that allows me to explore new ideas, design concepts and broaden my skills as a designer. I really look forward to the challenges and opportunities that a BA in Graphic Design will present.